Management and Operations Concentration

Professional Development Certificate: Management & Operations Concentration

A certificate in the Management & Operations concentration focuses on developing skills and understanding of the key concepts of zoo and aquarium management, including strategic planning, concepts of leadership, and mission-based management. The core AZA courses create a strong foundation by providing an overview of the many facets of zoo & aquarium operations, including the management of staff, animals, and the guest experience through lectures, rich discussions, activities, and group projects. Electives options give professionals an opportunity customize their experience and go deeper into a particular area of interest.

AZA Core Courses

Both of these foundational courses are required for this concentration. 

Learning Partner Electives 

Choose from these and future offerings through AZA and our Learning Partners to complete a minimum of 16 elective credits:  

Eligibility and number of credits awarded to be determined by AZA Professional Development Committee.  The 16 elective units must include a minimum of three training offerings. If a participant completes two 8-unit electives, an additional credit must be earned from a third offering to satisfy the certificate requirements.

College/university coursework, workshops, or other training may be applied as approved by the AZA Professional Development Committee. Submit your request for credit to  

Please note: Electives are not independently evaluated by AZA. Awarding of a certificate recognizes successful completion of the core courses and 16 units of electives and does not guarantee particular competencies or certifications. Electives are subject to change. 

Certificate Program Requirements

Enrollment in the AZA Professional Development Certificate Program is a member benefit! You must be an AZA member in good standing at the Professional Associate level or higher. Membership must be maintained for the duration of enrollment in the program. Credits must be accumulated at the rate of a minimum of one qualifying unit (see list below) every twelve months. If you do not earn at least one credit unit each year, your training portfolio will be docked two credits towards completion of a certificate.

Priority Criteria

A maximum of 40 applicants will be accepted per enrollment period. In addition to the requirements above, candidate applications will be prioritized for admission using the following criteria: 

  1. Employment at an AZA accredited or certified-related facility
  2. Attendance at one or more AZA Professional Development course(s) within the past 3 years
  3. Number of years employed at an AZA accredited or certified-related facility

Applications will be reviewed for admission by AZA Professional Development Staff and members of the Professional Development Committee. 

Friday, September 14th       -        Applications available for submission
Friday, October 12th            -        All application materials due
Monday, November 19th     -        Applicants notified of admission status

Spring 2019
Friday, March 22nd    -       Applications available for submission
Friday, April 19th       -      All application materials due 
Friday, May 17th        -      Applicants notified of admission status

Individuals who are not admitted after their inital application submission are welcome to apply for the following enrollment period. Two enrollment periods will be available each year during the spring and fall. 

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